You are not a good African woman if you don’t know how to cook…. hmmm

“Ultimately, it is not feminism that divorces women from food and cooking — it is the patriarchal social structures that confine women to the kitchen. If it were not for the systematic devaluation of women’s labour both inside and outside the home, women would not need to feel burdened by the act of cooking (and housework in general).”


“Do you cook?”

For an African woman, the above question, though innocent sounding is often loaded. The ability to cook and feed ones family is normally seen and admired as feminine trait and one that falls in the same camp of socially acceptable female behavior such ‘raising well behaved Christian or Muslim children’ and ‘sitting properly’.

To be an African woman means having certain expectations placed on you, expectations such as knowing how to make chapatti, or ugali or pap or jollof. Not knowing how to cook will get you labelled as lazy, possibly one of the worst things to be called as an African wife, right up there with ashowo or malaya.  It is seen as such a shameful secret some wives to be in South Africa are paying for lessons before they get married seelazy makoti.

There’s no doubt that things are a lot more complicated in…

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